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ASX 200 up 0.25%: EML surges on acquisition news, Westpac’s APRA update

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to defy overnight weakness on Wall Street and record a decent gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.25% to 6,903 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

EML makes major acquisition

The EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML) share price surged to a record high this morning after announcing the acquisition of Sentenial Limited for up to 110 million euros (~A$170.7 million). According to the release, Sentenial is a leading European Open Banking and Account-to-Account (A2A) payments provider. It utilises a cloud-native, API-first, full stack enterprise grade payment platform. Among its customer base are 4 of the top 7 banks in the United Kingdom and some of the largest merchant acquirers in Europe. Management sees the acquisition as an opportunity to deepen customer relationships, enter new industry verticals, and diversify its revenue streams.

Westpac APRA update

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is broadly flat today following the release of an update on its dealings with APRA. According to the release, APRA has approved its Integrated Plan that was developed in response to the Enforceable Undertaking. The latter was put in place following an investigation by the financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC into alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

Qantas shares ascend again

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is ascending again on Wednesday. Investors have been fighting to get hold of the airline operator’s shares since the announcement of an Australia-NZ travel bubble. One broker that believes this is a smart move by investors is Goldman Sachs. This morning the broker reiterated its buy rating and $6.38 price target on the company’s shares. Goldman notes that New Zealand accounted for ~13% of Qantas’ international passengers and ~5% of total passengers prior to COVID-19.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the EML Payments share price with a gain of almost 12%. This follows its acquisition announcement this morning. The worst performer has been the Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC) share price with a 4.5% decline. This is partly due to the building materials company’s shares going ex-dividend this morning.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends EML Payments. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended EML Payments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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